Neighbourhoods are designed with the right mix of housing, good transportation networks, quality park space, easy access to stores and services to meet daily needs.
Current development practice is to create new residential neighbourhoods developed using the principles of an area structure plan. These plans are completed by the developer and identify where development will occur (low, medium and high density residential and commercial), the basic road network, the location of parks and possible school sites, the identification of environmentally sensitive land and how the area will be serviced with municipal infrastructure (water, sewer, storm sewer). All plans must be approved by city council.
Once the area structure plan is approved developers can begin work on the specific subdivision plans. Subdivision plans identify specific details of area development including; lot sizes, location of servicing and road location. These subdivision plans are the blueprints of a neighbourhood. Subdivision plans are approved by the Subdivision Authority, a position held by the director of planning.
Rezoning is often required to identify the desired land use. A developer is required to complete a rezoning application which is approved by city council.
Once subdivision and zoning plans are in place, neighbourhood construction begins. Once the servicing and roads are complete, lots are sold and builders begin to construct new homes. Lot size, location and basic landscaping requirements are determined by the city’s Land Use Bylaw.